iterary critic and professor, M. L. Rosenthal writes poetry with a ough-and-tumble intensity and emotional honesty which elicits one's enjoyment at once. The poems as a group present picaresquely ironic pictures of existing or attempting-to-exist in the contemporary purview, while stuck with one's sensibility, one's Jewishness, one's memory of the Little Moments, one's defensive humor in a umorless world. ""Maniacs, screaming in the streets, are needed"", Rosenthal wryly responds, ""But poems?"" Influences, while agilely assimilated, are apparent, and include Pound, Williams, Dugan, Frenchmen like Michaux, Germans like Kafka and Benn; also the Robert Lowell of Imitations: a line like ""The full moon had risen, with a stache like Hitler's"", is almost pure later Lowell. Thus, while M. L. Rosenthal ites with gusto, he is often covering familiar territory in a familiar manner.